Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mobile media offerings (1): TV HD (and a rant)

Since yesterday was the first day of WWDC and the day Steve Jobs formally introduced the new iPhone, today might be a good day to look over the latest media offerings. This is the first of three posts.

If publishers are blown away by the lightning fast pace of change in publishing brought on by first mobile media, and secondly the iPad, television broadcasters must be even more astounded.
The move to television everywhere is developing quickly. One of the best examples so far has been ABC's iPad app with its access to prime time programming. Some moves are small, however.

One new TV app that appeared yesterday is from logiware gmbh, a developer with a number of unique (read: strange) apps in iTunes including iDateMe that looks like a porn app but is really a way of locating your lost iPhone (doesn't Apple offer that through MobileMe?).
Their newest app is TV HD which promises to deliver news, sports, business, entertainment, chrildren (sic) und weather (also sic) television to your iPhone or iPad. It doesn't. Instead it is a collection of links to YouTube and other video content found on the web.

What the app does do very well is crash, which reminded me of something Steve Jobs said yesterday that made me a bit mad -- see rant below.

I suppose there will be some who will appreciate the developer organizing the links in this fashion, but personally don't see much of a need for viewing news in this way knowing that any video available will be pretty much stale by the time it gets onto YouTube.

Yesterday Steve Jobs said something in reaction to some of the criticism Apple has received about its app approval process. Jobs gave three reasons why an app might be rejected: 1) the app doesn't function as claimed; 2) the app uses a private API; and 3) the app crashes.

These are all good reasons for rejecting an app, and if Apple really were evaluating apps based of this criteria it might be a good thing. But the statement was absolutely false and making it seemed either an attempt to create an alternative reality, or (hopefully) a message to the company itself stating a new position.

The fact is that apps are and have been rejected for reasons much different than the three reasons stated. Whether it is Apple's new found Puritanism, or its outright suppression of political speech, Apple has shown itself quite willing to reject apps for non-technical reasons. Jobs has in the past given his company an out by stating that the company sometimes makes mistakes, but to state that there are only three reasons why Apple rejects apps seemed to me to be less than honest.

Let's hope that Jobs was actually stating a new company policy rather than really defending past practices.